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Hindus And Sikhs Riot (1966)


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I dont know its real or fake but i have heard that Sikhs and Hindus were fighting with each other during Punjabi suba movement

This link below will provide you with some information regarding 1966 anti-sikhs riots.


Don't forget to visit the following link after you have visited the above link. Also visit your library to continue your research on this. It is very important for everyone to know sikh history.


Edited by Mannmere
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how about you, making such disgusting, divisive claims all the time but nothing to justify your hatred for Hindus. this video is almost 50 years old. nothing else to prove "These Hindu Jihadis are creating trouble since INDEPENDENCE" as claimed by one of your fanatic brother.

It's not 50 years old but a fairly recent one with simranjit Singh Mann.

He says that his father met with baldev Singh and Tara Singh and asked why the Sikhs are joining India and the Hindus?

And was told by Tara Singh " when the British leave then we are going to kick out these bodhi wale dhoti wales"

The plan to ethnically cleanse the Hindus was way before Indira, operation blue star.

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As one of the main factors which led to the ousting of the Muslims from East Punjab especially the Sikh dominated areas was to create space for the resettling of Sikh refugees from West Punjab then it is natural that either Hindus refugees from West Punjab not be allowed to resettle in East Punjab and if possible Hindus already there be also ousted.

With the ousting of the Muslims even without the resettling of Sikh refugees, the districts of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Firozpur, had become Sikh majority districts. Add to this the fact that Hindus in Jalandhar were 50.37% of the population compared to 48.8% of Sikhs and the Sikhs dominated the rural areas. In Gurdaspur Hindus were 51% and the Sikhs were 40% and apart from Pathankot tehsils the Sikhs dominated the rural areas of the district. Only in Hoshiarpur was the difference between Sikhs and Hindus large in number. Hindus were and Sikhs were 25% and Hindus 75%, Again in some tehsils Sikhs were a majority in the rural areas. The Sikhs were also a majority in Patiala, Faridkot and Nabha states and the Punjabi speaking areas of Jind state.

So if the plan had been to create an independent Sikh state in 1947 then you would not have seen the resettlement of Hindu refugees from West Punjab being resettled in East Punjab. Given the lack of law and order and the precarious nature of the new government in Delhi then the Sikhs would have been successful in denying the settlement of Hindus in East Punjab. It would not make sense to allow a fifth column of Sikh haters to settle in areas that had a Sikh majority. Had these Hindus not been allowed to settle in East Punjab and been instead settled in Haryana areas or Jammu and Sikh refugees solely been settled in East Punjab, the Punjab today would have had a Sikh majority of over 80% and the Sikhs would have been a majority in both the rural and urban areas. There would have been no Punjab problem as the tiny Hindu minority would not have been able to act as a fifth column in Punjab and be hostile to the just demands of the state. The Punjabi Hindus would have had more clout in Haryana and could even have been a majority in some of the districts like Karnal, Panipat etc. If the Hindus already living in Sikh areas of East Punjab also been ousted and moved to Haryana. There would have an independent Sikh state and the Indian state of Haryana would have had a Punjabi Hindu problem!

Edited by tonyhp32
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It's not 50 years old but a fairly recent one with simranjit Singh Mann.

He says that his father met with baldev Singh and Tara Singh and asked why the Sikhs are joining India and the Hindus?

And was told by Tara Singh " when the British leave then we are going to kick out these bodhi wale dhoti wales"

The plan to ethnically cleanse the Hindus was way before Indira, operation blue star.

Still waiting for the proof. ...whenever you get a chance, of course.

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how perverted one can get! what makes you think Hindus in east punjab were not making space for Hindu AND Sikh refugees? if you think only Sikhs are responsible for ousting Muslims from EP, why there are no muslims in all of haryana and Himachal except Mewat area south of delhi?

Himachal only had 1 or 2% muslims at most, so it wouldnt take much to shift them.

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I wouldnt wish these Panjabi Hindus on anyone. That would be just too cruel to those people.

Well said Chatanga veer these people are curse for everyone , In Punjab thery create problem for Sikhs , In Haryana they create problem for their own Hindu jaat and In Delhi they create problem for UP and Bihar waalas . When they don find anyone then they with each other on the name that we Khatris are superior then Aroras and Pandits . God known what they want . In last 10 yrs many of these have moved to Gurgaon and Noida so except more trouble too.

Edited by amar_jkp
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This is how the largest democracy of the world conducts its daily business! You can see the poor woman is really struggling hard to make these idiots listen to her. Sickening! Is the speaker of the House dead by any chance? Anyone? It has given me such an earache!


They listen.

Edited by Mannmere
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The Hindutva brigade gets it as well. There is a special mention by Adityanath of 84. Speech for the ages from the man

who has cleared Gorkhpur of Jihadis, and their supporters. Notice how the Sikh member at first shouts him down, and

then agrees with him about the events of 84.

As Adityanath says " Claim secularism but implement a communal agenda" that is the GOI.

"Moin Varth" - A fast of silence while Hindus and Sikhs are killed.

Edited by Amandeep Hindustani
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how perverted one can get! what makes you think Hindus in east punjab were not making space for Hindu AND Sikh refugees? if you think only Sikhs are responsible for ousting Muslims from EP, why there are no muslims in all of haryana and Himachal except Mewat area south of delhi?

Sikh population percentage in haryana (2001 figures) is just 5.5. This includes large number of sikhs who settled in these areas after 1947. Hindu population in haryana is around 90% with Punjabi Hindus supposed to be around 38%. That's a massive number indicating that large number of Hindus settled in what is Haryana state today. this also explains the discrepancy in the fall of Hindu population in Punjab.

Large numbers of refugee Hindus were settled in Sikhs areas. In Ludhiana district where Hindus were only 21% of the population in 1941 and without any refugee settlement and with expulsion of the Muslims, they would have been 32% of the population. But because a large number of Hindus were settled in Ludhiana they pushed their population up to 37.3%. In hindsight it would have been better if these Hindus had been settled in Haryana area and the Sikhs that were settled in Karnal and Hissar districts had been settled in Ludhiana instead. These Hindus could then have had their Hindi language which they love so much.

If you take the same calculations for the Karnal district, the Sikhs were only 2% of the population in 1941, if no refugees were resettled there and the Muslims expelled, then the Sikh percentage would have gone up to 2.8%. But because large numbers of refugee Sikhs were settled in Karnal district the Sikh percentage went up to 8.9%.

If the resettlement department had made sure that Sikhs were resettled in Sikh areas and the Hindus in Haryana then the Punjabi Hindus would have been in a better position and able to have a say in at least one former East Punjab state ie Haryana rather than having to suffer Sikh domination in Punjab and Haryanvi domination in Haryana.

Punjabi Hindu population is not 38%. It is probably the same as the Sikh percentage, whereas as the Sikhs are mainly rural these Punjabi Hindus are urban and so dominate the urban areas.

Although if what you say is correct then this just proves the point that Punjabi Hindus are still continuing to deny their mother tongue as the Punjabi speaking population of Haryana in 1981 was only 1.1 Million while the Sikhs were 0.8 Million. So this means that roughly 3 lakh Hindus claimed Punjabi as their mother tongue while according to you there should have been 5 million Punjabi Hindus in Haryana in 1981!

Edited by tonyhp32
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Flames in Punjab


Time, Mar. 25, 1966

For a change, there were no major food riots in India last week. Instead, something potentially more worrisome than hunger exploded into violence: communal riots, the ugly outbreak of fighting between groups of different religions or languages that has all too often bloodied the nation. By week's end, 14 persons had been killed, 500 injured and nearly 1,500 jailed as Sikhs and Hindus, who hitherto had lived together in relative peace, fought in the streets of Delhi and in scores of towns in the state of Punjab. Cried a Hindu nationalist leader: 'All Punjab is on fire.'

Separatist Sikhs

The flame was lit a fortnight ago when the powerful Working Committee of the Congress Party caved in to the demands of India's 7,000,000 Sikhs for the creation of a Punjabi-speaking state in the western half of the present state of Punjab (see map). In the past, the demand for Punjabi Suba had been repeatedly rejected by the Congress Party on the grounds that it would establish a state on essentially religious grounds, something that India's constitution prohibits. Not so, argued the Sikhs, who claimed it was a matter of language. They are the only one of India's 14 major linguistic groups that has not been granted a separate state. Sikh leader Sant Fateh Singh, 54, threatened to go on a 15-day fast climaxed by self-immolation unless the demand was met. Anxious to avoid violence, the Working Committee, of which Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is a member, at last committed the federal government to formation of a Punjabi-speaking state.

Violence came anyhow - from the Hindi-speaking Hindus who would form a minority in the new state. Protesting partition of Punjab, Yagya Dutt Sharma, 47, a leader of the militantly orthodox Jana Sangh Party, began a fast of his own in the marketplace of Amritsar. Refusing any sustenance except a few daily glassfuls of Gangajal-water from the Ganges - Sharma quickly lost 15 Ibs. in the first week, soon was unable to sit up.

Drawn Swords

Meanwhile, thousands of other Hindus carried their protests to the streets. Chanting 'Punjabi Suba Murdabad!' (Death to the [sikh] state of Punjab!) and 'Indira Gandhi Murdabad!' (Death to Indira Gandhi!), the mobs attacked government property and set fire to Sikh shops, causing uncounted damage. In the town of Panipat, 55 miles north of Delhi, a local Congress Party worker and two other men were burned alive when Hindu rioters set fire to the cycle shop in which they were trapped. In the old city of Delhi, turbaned guards at the main Sikh temple impassively shrugged off insults and ducked stones until the harassment by a mob of 2,000 Hindus became unbearable. Then, drawing their curved swords and yelling war cries, the Sikh guards charged the mob, wounding many Hindus.

The communal rioting was of deep concern to Indira Gandhi, who only the week before had returned from an inspection trip of other trouble spots: West Bengal, where food riots had raged for three weeks, and Assam, where the 260,000 Mizo hill people staged a bitter, bloody 'war of independence' before Indian troops moved in to put down their revolt. The spate of domestic troubles complicated preparations for her trip to Washington next week. There she would have long discussions with Lyndon Johnson, and en route she would stop in Paris for talks with French officials. 'How can I say India is a great country and meet foreign leaders when violence and discord have fouled the atmosphere?' she urged the Indian people. 'This is no time to tarnish the image of our country.'

Edited by hg45
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So, Indira created the Punjabi Suba?

Koi Sion,

Kithe gaya tuuuu? You have not responded to the video of Simranjit Singh Mann

Sorry, been extremely busy. Thanks for putting up the video.

Only had a chance to hear the first few seconds, where he says that Master Tara Singh made the comment in question.

I thought you said Simranjit Singh Mann made it? Anyway, I'll take a look at the video fully and get back to you

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Punjabi Suba

suba_morcha.jpgThe Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections in

December 1954 returned a verdict totally in favour of Punjabi Suba. The electorate in this case was purely Sikh. Yet the Akali Dal was stoutly oppposed on the Punjabi Suba issue by the Khalsa Dal, a new party created by Congress Sikhs with the support of the government. The results went overwhelmingly in favour of the former. The Khalsa Dal was put to rout, its tally being a bare three seats out of the 132 contested. On the contrary, the Akali Dal won all the 111 seats for which it had put up its candidates. The remaining seats went to those supported by the Dal one Independent and seventeen Communists. Sikh solidarity on the question of Punjabi Suba was a proven fact.

The Congress government remained inflexible. By its own past decisions, the Indian National Congress was pledged to reconstituting the provinces on a linguistic basis . The Madras session of the Congress in 1927 had lent support to the demand for demarcating Sind as a separate province. The resolution adopted declared: "The Congress is of the opinion that the time has come for the redistribution of the provinces on linguistic basis, a principle that has been adopted in the constitution of the Congress. This Congress is also of the opinion that such readjustment of provinces be immediately taken in hand and that any province which demands such reconstitution on the linguistic basis be dealt with accordingly."

The Nehru Report of 1928 had stated that "the present distribution of the provinces of India is on no rational basis. It is merely by accident that a particular area fell in a particular province." About the principle that should govern the redistribution of the provincial boundaries, the Nehru Report gave priority to "the linguistic unity of the area concerned."

Jawaharlal Nehru had himself made a statement on April 4, 1946, that "redistribution of provincial boundaries was essential and inevitable. I stand for semi-autonomous units as well . . . I should like them [the Sikhs] to have a semi-autonomous unit within the province so that they may experience the glow of freedom." Yet the Congress government was stubbornly set against the demand for a Punjabi-speaking state. The drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly had recommended that a commission be appointed to enquire into all relevant matters not only as regards Andhra but also as regards other linguistic areas.

Astill worse shock came from the report of the States Reorganization Commission appointed in 1953. To baulk the demand for a Punjabi Suba, the Commission recommended the integration of PEPSU and Himachal Pradesh with the Punjab. Under what prepossessions the Commission functioned would be evident from the proceedings of a sitting at Patiala. Pandit H.N. Kunzru, one of the members asked the Sikh spokesman, Hukam Singh, why he had included Kangra and other Hindi-speaking areas in the proposed Punjabi state. Hukam Singh answered that, if they were Hindi-speaking, they might be excluded. Pandit Kunzru objected that, in that case, the Sikhs would be turned into a majority. Sardar Hukam Singh trapped him quiping quickwittedly that, if the Commission had been instructed to keep Sikhs in a minority, they must well obey. Pandit Kunzru had to escape from the impasse into which he had been driven.

The growing tension exploded into an open conflict with the government in the summer of 1955. April 14 was the day for the annual Baisakhi march for the Sikhs in Amritsar. The Punjab government imposed a ban on the shouting of slogans in support of Punjabi Suba. Slogans for Maha(Greater) Punjab byopponents ofthe Akali Dal were also forbidden, but the order was primarily aimed at preventing the Sikhs from uttering Punjabi Suba slogans in their Baisakhi procession. The Sikhs refused to submit to the ban. The march did take place and voices were raised demanding Punjabi Suba. The police put under arrest more than a dozen leading Akalis.

The Shriomani Akali Dal continued to protest against the ban as an attack on the civic rights of the people. It gave an ultimatum that, if the ban was not withdrawn by May 10, 1955, it would launch a mass agitation. On May 10, Master Tara Singh led out the first batch of ten volunteers in defiance of the ban. He was detained along with his companions. This was the beginning of a long-drawn contest. The Sikhs started pouring into Amritsar in large numbers to court arrest. The strength of the batches offering themselves for arrest had to be increasedfrom 10 to 100. Master Tara Singh's birthday on June 24 was commemorated by accelerating the number still further. The arrests continued from day to day. Among those held were the Head Granthi of the Golden Temple as well as Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Iqbal Singh (1889-1974), an eminent educationist and acollege principal, who was in the absence of Hukam Singh abroad officiating as president of the Akali Dal,and who was commander of the Morcha, Parkash Singh Badal, along with his brother Gurbilas Singh and uncle Gurraj Singh, Sarup Singh. Gurmit Singh, Bhopinder Singh Mann, Dhanna Singh Gulshan, Ganga Singh, principal of the Sikh Missionary College, Sadhu Singh Hamdard, eminent Sikh journalist, Rajinder Singh of Sangrur and Chaudhri Kartar Singh. Many more filled the gaols. They included legislators, writers and lawyers. In all, 12,000 were taken prisoners, among them 427 women.

The government further tightened its repressive network. The Golden Temple was besieged by the police and Guru-ka-Langar occupied. Meetings and divans at Manji Sahib, in the Golden Temple precincts, were prohibited. The worst happened on July 4,1955, when police entered the sacred precincts in a body and exploded tear bombs to scatter the assembled Sikhs. This was a trespass without precedent in history. On July 5, Bawa Harkishan Singh, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and Hukam Singh were taken into custody. But government soon realized the enormity of the outrage committed, and retraced its policy. The band of Sikh volunteers which turned out on July 8 shouting Punjabi Suba slogans was left untouched by the police. The following day, a group of 139 ladies, under the leadership of Bibi Gian Kaur of Calcutta, volunteered for arrest. Again, police did not interfere. On July 12, the ban was formally withdrawn. The chief minister, Bhim Sen Sachar, presented himself at the Akal Takht and made in an open divan apologies on behalf of the government for the sacrilege committed by the police on July 4.

This was a graceful act much applauded by the Sikhs. But the goodwill generated by Shri Sachar's sincerity was dissipated in the wake of the publication of the report of the States Reorganization Commission. The Commission had totally rejected the Sikhs' demand and advised them, on the contrary, to accept a larger Punjab to be constituted by the amalgamation of Himachal Pradesh with the existing Punjab. "From the point of view of the Sikhs themselves," it wrote, "the solution that we propose offers the advantage that the precarious and uncertain political majority which they seek will be exchanged for the real and substantial rights which a sizable and vigorous minority with a population ratio of nearly one-third is bound to have in the united Punjab in the whole of which they have areal stake." The argument was as unintelligible to the Sikhs as it was derogatory.

Master Tara Singh grasped the opportunity to exhibit Sikh unity and resolution. He summoned a representative congress of the Sikhs at Amritsar on October 16, 1955. Nearly 1,300 of the invitees attended. With one voice, they rejected the recommendations of the States Reorganization Commission and vehemently castigated it for treating the Sikh claims with undisguised bias. The convention authorized Master Tara Singh to devise ways and means to bring home to the Government of India Sikhs' sense of injury . His first move�a conciliatory one�was to call upon Prime Minister Nehru. The ground for such a meeting had already been prepared by the former Defence Minister, Baldev Singh. Baldev Singh, who had shunned meeting the Prime Minister since he was dropped from his cabinet and who in fact stayed away even from social get-togethers at which he was likely to be present, was persuaded by Giani Kartar Singh and others to act as a mediator between the Akalis and the government. He showed Jawaharlal Nehru the correspondence which had passed between Sikhs and the Muslim League leaders prior to the transfer of power, and reminded him how the former had rejected the League overtures and thrown in their lot with India. Hukam Singh carried to the Prime Minister a letter written by Master Tara Singh, and October 24, 1955, was the date fixed for a bilateral meeting.

Conciliatory intercession brought Jawaharlal Nehru and the Sikh leaders round the conference table. A regional formual was devised, under which punjabi speaking majority areas were to have all education in Punjabi. The supporters of Hindi assailed the Regional Formula as being harmful to their interests. Under the aegis of the Hindi Raksha Samiti, they launched a fierce agitation to have it annulled. The new Congress government which had taken office in the Punjab on April 3, 1957, with the mighty Partap Singh Kairon as Chief Minister and former Akalis, Giani Kartar Singh and Gian Singh Rarewala, as two of the members of his cabinet, dealt with the Hindi protest firmly. But it could do little to assuage the Sikhs' sentiment hurt by the Hindi Raksha Samiti's acts of animosity against them. During the course of the Hindi movement, several Sikh places of worship had been desecrated.

Language frontiers had become communal frontiers. For Master Tara Singh, Punjabi Suba was the only antidote to the rising Hindi fanaticism. On June 14, 1958, he resurrected the demand for it, repudiating the Regional Formula which had anyhow been the subject of his criticism and sarcasm. Though accepted under the pressure of circumstances, the Regional Formula was no trustworthy solution of the Punjab problem. The Sikh masses were scarcely enthused by it. Essentially, it was a tentative arrangement and, as it soon became apparent, neither the government nor any of the political parties was keen to give it an earnest trial. Master Tara Singh called a meeting of the general body of the Shiromani Akali Dal at Patiala on February 14, 1959. 299 out of 377 members attended. The convention resolved by one voice to restore the political character of the Dal.

The Regional Formula never seriously put into effect by government and never seriously accepted by the Sikhs, left one permanent monument in the shape of the Punjabi University. The idea of such a university had taken birth in the new intellectual and cultural milieu created by national independence. Educators and public men in the Punjab vaguely spoke of a university for the development and promotion of the language of the state. But none could define exactly Punjabi as the dominant language."

Master Tara Singh, felt reassured by this elaboration and forthwith had a call made to Amritsar. He assured Sant Fateh Singh that the obligations of his vow had been fulfilled and asked him to terminate his fast. To Master Tara Singh's appeal was added the weight of a motion adopted by the Working Committee of the Akali Dal and the command of the Panj Piare or the Five Elect who, speaking for the entire Khalsa, told Sant Fateh Singh that they were satisfied that his pledge had been complied with and that he must forthwith end his fast. On the morning of January 9,1961, Fateh Singh took his first sips of nourishment in twenty-two-days�a glass of juice from the hands of Bhai Chet Singh, one of the Golden Temple granthis. This marked the end of the seven month long morcha in which, according to official figures,30,000 went to gaol and, according to Akali reckoning,57,129.

Political negotiations ensued between the government and the Akalis. Sant Fateh Singh had three meetings with Prime Minister Nehru, one on February 8, 1961. The meetings were friendly, but yielded no definite results. Offering to extend to the Punjabi language all the protection it needed, the Prime Minister was not wiling to slice off Punjabi-speaking areas of the Punjab into a separate state. The Sikhs were far from pacified. To press home the Punjabi Suba issue, another fast had to be staged�this time by Master Tara Singh. His trial began on August 15,1961, after a solemn prayer in front of the Akal Takht. The Punjab again was in a commotion. The crisis deepened as days went by. Mediators arose to try and settle the issue. Notable among them were Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala and Malik Hardit Singh. They kept in touch with Prime Minister Nehru and Home Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on the one hand and with the Akali leaders on the other. Eventually Master Tara Singh was persuaded to end his fast on the 48th day (October 1,1961). The glass of lemon juice, mixed with honey, was given him by the Maharaja of Patiala and Sant Fateh Singh.

In pursuance of the settlement made, the Prime Minister appointed a commission to go into the question of Sikh grievances. The Shiromani Akali Dal cavilled at its composition and refused to put its case before it. But the commission carried on with its work in spite of Akali Dal' s non-cooperation. It gave its report on February 9, 1962, rejecting suggestions of any discrimination against the Sikhs. Kapur Singh On August 2, 1965, addressed a Press conference in Delhi, demanding for the Sikhs "place in the sun of free India." He appluaded the Nalwa Conference resolution and pledged his support to it.

But the initiative was again seized by Sant Fateh Singh with the announcement on August 16, 1965, that, to clinch the Punjabi Suba issue, he would sit a fasting from September 10, 1965, and, in case the Government of India did not melt, he would burn himself up on September 25. The venue fixed for immolation was the top roof of the Akal Takht; time 4.30 p.m. Following upon the heels of this declaration came the war between Pakistan and India. In that moment of crisis, everyone wished that Sant Fateh Singh would revoke his decision.

Sant Channan Singh, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Gurcharan Singh Tauhra and Harcharan Singh Hudiara went to Delhi on September 8, 1965, to take counsel with the leaders of government and others. A high-level meeting took place in the Speaker's chamber in Parliament House attended among others by Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala, Yashwant Rao Chavan, Defence Minister, Jaisukhlal Hathi, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Sardar Kapur Singh, Member of Parliament, Dr Anup Singh, Member of Parliament, Buta Singh, member of Parliament and Dhanna Singh Gulshan. They were all anxious that the tragedy be somehow averted and unanimously sent a message to Sant Fateh Singh requesting him to defer the fast. Some of them, notably the Maharaja of Patiala, added the assurance that they would be on his side if the government continued to circumvent his demand after normalcy was restored.

Sant Channan Singh returned to Amritsar with his colleagues by the night train and conveyed to Sant Fateh Singh on the morning of September 9 the message they had brought. Sant Fateh Singh accepted the advice and made a public statement postponing the fast. Simultaneously, he appealed to his countrymen, especially Sikhs, to muster all their resources to resist the onslaught from across the frontier.

In the border districts, the Sikh population rose to a man to meet the crisis. It stood solidly behind the combatants and assisted them in many different ways. It provided guides to the newly inducted troops and offered free labour and vehicles, country carts, tractors and trucks to transport war supplies to the forward-most trenches. Instead of evacuating in panic to safer places, Sikhs right up to the frontier stuck fearlessly to their homes, plying their ploughs and tending their cattle. Along the main approach routes to the front, they set up booths serving refreshments to the soldiers. Their most spectacular feat was the way they swooped down upon the parachutists dropped by Pakistanis behind the Indian lines. On seeing the parachutes open up in the skies, the villagers rushed out gleefully with whatever they had in their hands�lathis, axes or swords, and seized the bewildered paratroopers before they knew where they were. A few were beaten to death on the spot and the rest were handed over to the army. A South Indian pilot belonging to the Air Force, who had made an emergency leap from his crashing aircraft, had a hard time explaining to his rugged, but prompt, captors that he was an Indian national and not a Pakistani spy.

Besides a vast number of Sikh troops fighting all along the borders from Kutch to Baltistan and Ladakh, almost all senior commanders in the Punjab sector were Sikhs. Lieut-General Harbakhsh Singh, with his chief of staff, Major-General Joginder Singh, commanded the entire Western zone and was, as such, the principal architect of India's victory. Involved with planning at the army headquarters was another Sikh officer, Major-General Narinder Singh. Lieut-General Joginder Singh Dhillon, a brilliant tactician, with his Brigadier General Staff, Brigadier Parkash Singh Grewal, and artillery commander, Brigadier S.S. Kalha, commanded the crops operating in the Punjab and parts of Rajasthan. Major-General Niranjan Prasad was replaced mid-battle by Major-General Mohindar Singh, a tough and shrewd soldier, as division commander in the Amritsar sector, the other division commander, in the Khem Karan sector, being Major-General Gurbakhsh Singh. The two divisions not only secured their first objective, the Ichogil Canal, but at certain points outstripped the target, holding Lahore within artillery range.

North of the Ravi, Major-General Rajinder Singh 'Sparrow', commanding an armoured division, recorded a marvellous feat in the history of tank warfare by a lightning putsch towards Sialkot, Narowal, his Centurions humbling Pakistan's prestigious American gifted Pattons and Chaffees. The Khem Karan sector, too, was turned into what came to be known as the graveyard of the Pakistani Patton tanks. South of the Sutlej, Brigadier Bant Singh, commanding an independent brigade group, defended stoutly an extensive border covering the entire Ferozepore and Ganganagar districts. Both at Hussainiwala and Fazilka, Sikh battalion commanders held fast to their positions despite intensely heavy shelling by Pakistan artillery. The Indian Air Force, under the command of the Sikh Air Chief Marshal, Arjan Singh, made devastating strikes and surprised military experts the world over by decisively outpacing a far superior, i.e. better equipped, force. Indian Moths had routed Pakistani Hawks.

Within 21 days, Pakistan was brought to heel. The ceasefire came about on September 22. Legendary stories were already in circulation about the patriotic fervour and bravery Sikhs had displayed during the war. Clearly, their moment of fullfilment had arrived. On September 6, 1965, the Union Home Minister, Gulzari Lal Nanda, made a statement in the Lok Sabha saying that "the whole question of formation of Punjabi-speaking state could be examined afresh with an open mind." On September 23, recalling his statement of September 6, he announced in the Lok Sabha: "The Government have now decided to set up a committee of the Cabinet to pursue this matter further. The Committee will consist of Shrimati Indira Gandhi, Shri Y.B. Chavan and Shri Mahavir Tyagi. " Addressing the Speaker, the Home Minister said: "Sir, I would request you and the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, to set up for the same purpose a Parliamentary Committee of members of both Houses of Parliament presided over by you." Continuing his speech, he expressed the hope that "the efforts of this Cabinet Committee and of the Parliamentary Committee will lead to a satisfactory settlement of the question." The Congress party also took up the issue in earnest. On November 16,1965, the Punjab Congress Committee debated it for long hours, with Giani Zail Singh, General Mohan Singh, and Narain Singh Shahbazpuri lending it their full support.

The Home Minister sent a list of nominees from Rajya Sabha to the Chairman and a list of nominees from Lok Sabha to the Speaker Hukam Singh. The Chairman forwarded his list to the Speaker. The latter, however, did not accept the Lok Sabha list given to him by the Home Minister, and made five changes in it at his own discretion. The twenty-two-member committee announced by Hukam Singh represented all sections of the House. Among them were Hiren Mukerjee (Communist), SurendraNath Dwivedi (Socialist), Atal Behari Vajpayee (JanaSangh), Maharaja Karni Singh of Bikaner(Independent), Dhanna Singh Gulshan (Akali Dal), Bansi Lal (Congress), Sadiq Ali (Congress), and Amar Nath Vidyalankar (Congress), Surjit Singh Majithia (Congress) and Daya Bhai Patel (Swatantra). The first meeting of the committee was held in the committee room of Parliament House to lay down its procedure to work. October I, 1965, to November 5,1965 was the period fixed for receiving memoranda from various parties and individuals. From November 26 to December 25, the committee held preliminary discussions. On January 10, 1966, Lachhman Singh Gill, general secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and Kawel Singh presented the case for a Punjabi-speaking state. On January 27, Giani Kartar Singh and Harcharan Singh Brar appeared before the committee on behalf of the Congress group in the Punjab legislature. Both argued in favour of Punjabi Suba. There were nearly 2,200 memoranda submitted to the committee favouring the Punjabi Suba and 903 opposing it.

Hukam Singh was able to secure from his committee a unanimous vote in favour of the creation of Punjabi Suba. This apparently dismayed Gulzari Lal Nanda, the Home Minister, who soon after the nomination of the Parlimentary Committee had borne complaints to Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri alleging that the Speaker was actively working for the creation of a Punjabi-speaking state. The Parliamentary Committee' s report was handed in on March 15,1966. On March 9, 1966, the Congress Working Committee had already adopted a motion recommending to the Government of India to carve a Punjabi-speaking state out of the then existing Punjab. The only member to oppose the resolution was Morarji Desai. The report of the Parliamentary Committee was made public on March 18, 1966. Mrs. Indra Gandhi who had, after the sudden death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, taken over as Prime Minister on January 24,1966, finally conceded the demand on April 23,1966. A commission was appointed to demarcate the new states of Punjab and Haryana. On September 3, the Punjab Reorganization Bill was introuduced in the Lok Sabha and on November 1, 1966, Punjabi-speaking state became a reality . The happiest man on that day was Sant Fateh Singh. A life-long bachelor, he greeted the announcement with the words: "A handsome baby has been born into my household."

With the birth of the new Punjab, Sikhs had entered the most creative half-decade of their modern history. The realization of a dominant political ambition often times heralds the advent of political power. This came strikingly true for Sikhs in the Punjab. On March 8, 1967, Gurnam Singh, the Akali nominee, took over as Chief Minister of the state.


  1. Copyright © Harbans Singh "The heritage of sikhs."
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Punjab Insurgancy Chronology Outline

Date Event

Nov 1, 1966 Sikh majority Punjab state created ( Three states created ( Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pardesh)

March 1972 Akalis routed in Punjab elections, Congress wins

October 17, 1973 Akalis demand autonomy and more lands

April 25, 1980 Baba Gurbachan Singh of Sant Nirankari sect murdered

June 2, 1980 Akalis lose election in Punjab

Aug 16, 1981 Militants in Golden Temple meet foreign correspndents

Sept 9, 1981 Jagat Narain, Editor, Hind Samachar group murdered

Sept 29, 1981 Separatists Hijack Indian Jetliner to Pakistan

Feb 11, 1982 US gives Visa to Jagjit Singh Chauhan

April 26, 1982 Cows' heads thrown in Hindu temple

Apr 11, 1982 USA Khalistani G.S. Dhillon Barred From India

July 1982 Chief Minister Darbara Singh escape assassination attempt

Aug 4, 1982 Akalis demand autonomy and additional regions for Punjab

Oct 11, 1982 Militants attack parliament

Nov 1982 Longowal threatens to disrupt Asian Games

Oct 1983 6 Hindu bus passengers killed

May 3 1983 Bhindranwale living in Golden Temple threatens violence

Oct 8 1983 Militants in Golden Temple kill Hindus throughout Punjab

Oct 14, 1983 Hindu festival bombed in Chandigarh

Oct 18, 1983 Hindus protest bomb attack on temple

Oct 1983 H indus pulled off from trains and buses and killed

Oct 7 1983 Darbara Singh removed, all religious demands met

Feb 9, 1984 Hindu wedding procession bombed

Feb 14, 1984 Militants shoot and kill 5 from Golden Temple

Feb 19, 1984 Sikh-Hindu Clashes Spread in North India

Feb 24, 1984 6 more Hindus killed in Punjab

Feb 29, 1984 T emple is an arsenal

April 3, 1984 Fear due to young terrorists

April 8, 1984 Longowal writes- he cannot control anymore

April 15, 1984 Man shot dead in temple

April 17, 1984 Deaths in factional fighting

May 27, 1984 Ferozpur Hindu politician killed, Hindu-Muslim riots in Bombay

June 3, 1984 Army controls Punjab security -Launch of Bluestar

June 5, 1984 Heavy fighting, Punjab shut-down

June 6, 1984 Daylong battle

June 7, 1984 Temple taken

June 7, 1984 Bhindranwale dead

June 8, 1984 Rioting in Srinagar, Ludhiana, Amritsar

June 9, 1984 Weapons seized, troops fired on

June 10, 1984 Reports of Delhi riots

June 11, 1984 Negotiators close to a settlement on waters

Oct. 31, 1984 Indira Gandhi killed

20 Aug. 1985 Sant Harchand Singh Longowal assassinated

Dec. 1, 1986 Sikh militants kill 24 Hindu bus passengers

May 19, 1987 General Secretary CPI(M)Comrade Deepak Dhawan murdered brutually at Village Sangha. Tarn Taran

Mar, 25, 1988 Militants kill other Sikhs

July 11, 1990 Sikh Who Promoted Truce Is Shot to Death

June 16, 1991 80 killed by militants on two trains

Feb. 25, 1992 Congress sweeps Punjab Assembly elections

Sep. 3, 1995 CM Beant Singh killed in blast

Historical back ground

In the 1950s and 1960s, linguistic issues in India caused civil disorder when the central government declared Hindi as the national language of India. The nationwide movement of linguistic groups seeking statehood resulted in a massive reorganization of states according to linguistic boundaries in 1956. At that time, Indian Punjab had its capital in Shimla, and though the vast majority of the Sikhs lived in Punjab, they still did not form a majority. But if Haryana and Himachal could be separated sikhs could have a Punjab in which they could form a majority of 60 per cent against the Hindus being 40 per cent The Akali Dal, a Sikh dominated political party active mainly in Punjab, sought to create a Punjabi Suba. This case was presented to the States Reorganization Commission established in 1953. It is generally believed that the Hindus sensed what the Sikhs had in mind. They, supported by the Hindu newspapers from Jalandhar, exhorted Punjabi Hindus to declare Hindi as their “mother tongue” instead of Punjabi in the censuses that took place, so that the Sikhs could be deprived of the argument that they were only asking for a Punjabi-speaking Suba. The demand for adoption of Punjabi for Punjabi-speaking areas first created and later intensified the rift between Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab.

This would have remained a political battle, but Giani Zail Singh soiught to divide the Akalis by using Bhinderwalan. He possibly lacked the foresight that he was, with the help of Sanjay Gandhi, raising a Frankenstein. All the evil he and his followers did was in the name of God. And they did all that was evil. The murder of innocents, torture, rape, extortion, the desecration of temples, the abuse of sanctuaries, and a limitless host of other crimes that do not bear mention next to these.

They did it, they said, to avenge the ‘injustices’ done to the Sikhs by the Hindus; to defend the Faith against the machinations of the ‘evil Brahmins’ who were out to destroy it; to protect the lives and liberties of ‘persecuted Sikhs’ against an inimical and communalized State.

They had simply borrowed their contemporary mythology from the Akalis. But the creed of hatred that had been propagated for decades was suddenly translated into action. Its source and centre remained in the Gurudwaras; but its idiom was now the bullet and the bomb.

Every instrument and strategy was adopted to perpetuate the myth, to authenticate it: selective killings; the alternating desecration of Hindu and Sikh religious places; sermons of a malevolent rage - anything that could drive a wedge between communities; anything that could incite a slaughter of the Hindus in the state, and a retaliatory pogrom against the Sikhs in the rest of India. That could have fulfilled their ambitions.

Who were the victims of these ‘defenders of the Sikh Faith’? Of a total of 11,694 persons killed by terrorists in Punjab during the period 1981-1993, 7,139 - more than 61 per cent - were Sikhs.

The incident, to which the genesis of the terrorist movement in Punjab is traced, occurred in April 1978. The SGPC White Paper gives the Akali version of the background against which violence occurred. "....the Nirankaries of Delhi," it observes, "were clandestinely supported and promoted by the Government in pursuance of its policy to create a schism and ideological confusion among the Sikhs." And further, The provocative utterances and activities brought the Nirankaries into open clash with the Sikhs. In 1951, at Amritsar, the then Nirankaries Chief Avtar Singh, held a Satsang attended by his about two hundred followers. Some Sikhs clashed with the Nirankari chief as he had committed an act of sacrilege by proclaiming himself a Guru in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. These bickerings continued and ultimately the two important Sikh organizations known as the Damdami Taksal and the Akhand Kirtni Jatha also came forward to confront the attack of the Nrinkari. "The tension that had been building up for quite some time, resulted in clashes at Batala, Sri Hargobindpur, Pathankot, Qadian, Ghuman and Gurdaspur between the Nrinkaris and the followers of Sant Kartar Singh. Clashes were also reported from Tarn Taran, Ludhiana and Ropar." Shortly before the ‘totally unarmed’ protesters set out for the venue of the Nirankari Convention, they had assembled in the Golden Temple, where the then Akali Dal Revenue Minister, Jeevan Singh Umranangal tried, unsuccessfully, to explain away the Government’s decision to allow the Nirankari Convention to take place. Bhindranwale interrupted the proceedings, shouting "We will not allow this Nirankari convention to take place. We are going to march there and cut them to pieces.” Over the next six years, until his death on June 6, 1984, Bhindranwale propagated and practised a creed of unadulterated hate. Under the guise of Amrit Prachar, the propagation of the tenets of the Sikh Faith, he mixed a fundamentalist canon with rabid incitement to violence. Khushwant Singh has captured the essence of his ‘revelations’ well.

The very same day three motorcycle-borne ‘storm troopers’ opened fire in a market in Jalandhar, killing four Hindus and injuring twelve. The next day, one Hindu was killed and thirteen people injured in Tarn Taran. Five days later a goods train was derailed at Amritsar. On September 29, an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked to Lahore. A series of explosions followed in Amritsar, Faridkot and Gurdaspur districts.

For 25 days, while violence exploded all over Punjab, Bhindranwale was lodged, not in Jail as he should have been, but in the ample comfort of the Circuit House. The Akali Dal, meanwhile, appeared to have decided to throw in its lot with him. Addressing a Diwan [assembly] at Manji Sahib, Longowal announced that the "entire Sikh community supported Bhindranwale." Similar support came from Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, the Jathedar of the Akal Takht, and from Tohra, the President of the SGPC Bhindranwale stormed across the Punjab with truckloads of men, armed to the teeth, no longer with swords and spears and primitive 12-bore guns, but with sophisticated automatic weapons; no one challenged him. In December 1981, Jathedar Santokh Singh of the DGPC, one of his supporters, was killed by a political rival. Bhindranwale attended his Bhog ceremonies; also present were Rajiv Gandhi and two prominent Ministers of Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet, Zail Singh and Buta Singh; they were fully aware of the killings in Punjab; of Bhindranwale’s role; and of his presence at the Bhog. Yet they chose to attend.

A few months later, Bhindranwale challenged the might of the Centre, as his armed gangs swept through the nation’s capital with impunity. What followed was a continuous sequence of sacrilege, of profanities, of desecration, through word and deed, of the holiest sanctuary of Sikhism. In the past, the Akalis had captured and manipulated the authority of the Golden Temple, no doubt by exploiting religious sentiments, but through an electoral process. The terrorists fled into the Temple out of fear of arrest, and then, as the security forces held back, awed by the sanctity of that hallowed ground, their power and audacity grew, and they secured it by naked force.It mattered little how it fell into their hands. The mystical authority, the sacred, indefinable power, the inviolate sanctity of the Temple attached itself, in the minds of thousands of the devout, to those who held the seat and the symbol of the spiritual and temporal authority of the Sikh faith in their custody.

But Bhindranwale and his cohort of criminals were not the only ones who sought to command the power of the Temple. Well before him, another - relentlessly inimical - terrorist group had already established its base within its consecrated bounds. The Akhand Kirtani Jatha which had lost 11 of its members in the clash with the Nirankaris in 1978, had been led by Fauja Singh. His widow, Bibi Amarjit Kaur, and another member of the Jatha, Bibi Harsharan Kaur, had immediately entered the sanctuary of the Golden Temple; from there they led the Babbar Khalsa, a terrorist group responsible, over the next decade and a half for a multitude of heinous crimes, including, according to the boast of its chief assassin Sukhdev Singh, the murder of 35 Nirankaris. Bibi Amarjit Kaur had not forgiven Bhindranwale his cowardice in abandoning the protesters at the Nirankari Convention, and blamed him for her husband’s death. When Bhindranwale entered the Temple a taut and troubled entente between their armed followers was established.

But these were only the preliminaries; the master stroke was to follow.

With breathtaking audacity he adopted the practice of carrying, at all times, a steel arrow in his hand, imitating the Tenth Guru; rumours were set afloat that the ‘baaz’, the holy falcon, another symbol associated with Guru Gobind Singh, was sighted hovering protectively over him. It was whispered that the ‘spirit’ of the Tenth Guru had descended upon Bhindranwale; that he was an incarnation; even, among the more reckless, that he was the ‘Eleventh Guru’ of Sikhism.This was the power of the Golden Temple, and of the symbols of the Faith. They conferred an aura of sainthood, almost of divinity, on this semi-literate evangelist of hate.

In April 1983, A.S. Atwal, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, came to pray at the Temple; after receiving prasad at the Harmandir Sahib, he walked out towards the marble steps near the main entrance of the Complex where he was shot dead in broad daylight, with scores of witnesses standing by, including his own bodyguard and a police contingent posted a hundred yards away. Such was the terror of those days, so great the demoralisation of the police - crippled and constrained as they were by the political leadership - that his bodyguards simply fled; the police outpost was also abandoned, and the policemen ran and hid in the shops. The shopkeepers pulled down their shutters, and no one dared to approach the body. The killers danced the bhangra around the felled DIG, and then sauntered back into the Temple. Atwal’s body, "riddled with bullets, lay in the main entrance to the Sikhs most sacred shrine for more than two hours before the District Commissioner could persuade the Temple authorities to hand it over." Ugly as the Atwal murder was, however, it was only a beginning. On May 4, 1984, a badly mutilated body was found near the Golden Temple Complex. Less than twenty days later, another body was discovered from a gutter behind Guru Nanak Niwas - Bhindranwale’s ‘temporary residence’. Both the victims had been severely tortured. From this point on, this became a regular feature; bodies, mutilated, hacked to pieces, stuffed into gunny bags, kept appearing mysteriously in the gutters and sewers around the Temple.

The shrine, whose image can be found in every Sikh home, in every Sikh heart, had been transformed into a place of torture and of execution.

Bhindranwale abandoned the Niwas entirely, fleeing into the safety of the Akal Takht, right in the middle of the Temple Complex. Not even the Babbar Khalsa would dare to scar this, the sacred seat of the Temporal Power of God, with an attack against him. In any event, thousands of devotees who came to pray at the Golden Temple every day constituted a protective barrier between him and his enemies.

The move was not without its difficulties. The Jathedar, or High Priest, of the Akal Takht objected strongly. No Guru or Sikh religious leader had ever been allowed to live in the Akal Takht, he pointed out. Moreover, Bhindranwale’s presence in the upper floors of the building was an act of sacrilege; the Guru Granth Sahib was placed in the main hall on the ground floor, and at night the Bir from the Harmandir Sahib itself, the most sacred copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, was placed in a room in the Akal Takht. No man could be permitted to stand above the Guru Granth Sahib; but Bhindranwale and his men would be living in quarters above these places The Akal Takht was thus transformed into his personal ‘Court’. He held his darbars here, or on the roof of the langar across the Parikrama. Surrounded by heavily armed henchmen, he would lie, half sprawled, on a mattress, and expound on his malevolent doctrine of vengeance against all those whom he held responsible for the fictional ‘slavery’ of the Sikhs. And here he would receive petitions and intercede in disputes, dispensing a somewhat unequal ‘justice’. Those who submitted to his will, swore allegiance, acknowledged his ‘suzerainty’ to the exclusion of all other powers, and, of course, paid him their ‘tribute’, received his ‘protection’; their ‘rights’ would be upheld. The opposing party died. Hit lists were drawn up; those who sought the opportunity to ‘serve’ the ‘Sant’ were given a name and a gun. The hit squads flourished.

Despite the campaign of hatred that had been going on for close to five years by this time, however, few purely communal complaints were brought up at these darbars. Land disputes, quarrels over possession of properties, betrayals of trust, and the inevitable family vendettas that are so much a part of the Jat Sikh’s life. Of course, the occasional Sikh complained against his Hindu neighbour; such actions, however, were prompted by a purely secular greed; they had little, if anything, to do with communal passions. The ‘Brahmin’ or the ‘Bania’ were no villains here; the same motives that provoked complaints against fellow Sikhs motivated petitions for vengeance against Hindus.

Murder, of course, was not the only business transacted; though it was the fountainhead of power that created opportunities for diversification into organised extortion and protection rackets. In these operations, as in the murders he sanctioned, Bhindranwale was absolutely secular in his dealings; he accepted money from Hindu and Sikh alike; and his ‘boys’ served collection notices on businessmen, shopkeepers and industrialists from both the communities - those who failed to pay, as usual, faced the only penalty in Bhindranwale’s book - death.

Unsurprisingly, the devout were becoming an increasingly insignificant minority among the men who gathered around Bhindranwale. Criminals on the run, professional guns for hire, smugglers, as well as police and army deserters enjoyed his protection - and did his bidding.

Jut to mention a few, Bhindranwale’s main ‘hit man’, Surinder Singh Sodhi was shot dead just outside the Temple in April 1984. Sodhi had a number of important ‘kills’ to his credit, including H.S. Manchanda, the President of the Delhi Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Professor V.N. Tiwari, a Congress (I) MP, and Harbans Lal Khanna of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Sodhi was shot dead in broad daylight by a criminal enrolled in Bhindranwale’s own band of thugs, Surinder Singh ‘Chinda’ and a woman associate, Baljit Kaur. Baljit Kaur immediately ran to the Akal Takht and tried to justify the killing claiming that Sodhi had ‘misbehaved’ with her. But soon enough a ‘confession’ had been rung out; she admitted that she and Chinda had been paid for the killing; Gurcharan Singh, Secretary of the Akali Dal and a prominent member of the Longowal faction, and Malik Singh Bhatia, one of Bhindranwale’s own gang, were implicated. Bhatia was summoned immediately; he confessed to having provided Chinda with a vehicle to flee the site of the murder; Baljit Kaur was tortured brutally, her breasts cut off, and then killed, within the Akal Takht itself. Her hideously mutilated body, bundled into a gunnybag, was found more than 24 hours later on the Grand Trunk Road. Near it was a second body: her associate and lover, Chinda. The day after Sodhi’s killing, notices on the walls of the Temple boasted: "Within twenty-four hours, we have eliminated the killers and two of their accomplices." who had entered a basement to treat some civilian casualties.

It was not only their acts of savagery that defiled the Temple. Long before the first Army shells were to hit it, Bhindranwale’s men had already begun the process of disfiguring the Akal Takht. They smashed through its marble walls to create positions for their guns; from the basements in the Takht and from the rooms around the Parikrama, they broke through onto the tiled courtyards to establish near impregnable machine gun ‘nests’. Sandbags and hastily constructed brick walls protected every one of these ‘positions’. The entire Akal Takht had been transformed into a large reinforced pillbox with weapons facing all directions. In fact, virtually every strategically significant building in the complex, excluding the Harmandir Sahib located at its very centre had been similarly fortified - and defaced. The fortifications included 17 private houses in the residential area around the Temple as well. Ex-army veterans and deserters, under the leadership of the cashiered Major General Shahbeg Singh, provided weapons training to Bhindranwale’s men in the Temple Complex itself . In the twenty two months preceding Operation Blue Star and after the Akali Morcha began, violence had claimed a total of 410 lives, of which 298 persons were killed in the last phase, between January 1, 1984 and June 3, 1984

And now the time had come to act. The government seemed unable to stop the violence in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. Knowing her government would be voted out of power in Punjab the January 1985 elections, Operation Bluestar was a mixed success. Indira Gandhi ordered the army to storm the temple complex in Punjab A variety of army units along with paramilitary forces surrounded the temple complex on 3 June 1984. The army kept asking the militants to surrender, using the public address system, but according to civilians inside the complex no announcements were made and the Army termed everyone inside the complex as enemies. The militants were asked to send the pilgrims out of the temple premises to safety, before they start fighting the army. However, nothing happened till 7 PM, General Brar then asked the police if they could send emissaries inside to help get the civilians out, but the police said that anyone sent inside would be killed by the militants. They believed that the militants were keeping the pilgrims inside to stop the army from entering the temple. Finally, around a hundred sick and old people were let out. These people informed the army that the others were not being allowed to come out. The army had grossly underestimated the firepower possessed by the militants. Thus, tanks and heavy artillery were used to forcefully suppress the anti-tank and machine-gun fire. After a 24 hour firefight, the army finally wrested control of the temple complex. According to Indian Government sources, 83 army personnel were killed and 249 injured. while insurgent casualties were 493 killed and 86 injured. Unofficial figures go well into the thousands. Along with insurgents, many innocent worshipers were caught in the crossfire. The estimates of innocent people killed in the operation range from a few hundred of people.

Another factor that forced the immediate action was that there were reports that Gen. Zia wanted to avenge the creation of Bangladesh. He promised Bhinderwalan all help and all arms and ammunition, including mortars, anti aircraft guns etc. had Pakistan ordnance marking. Had the action not been taken, there was every possibility of vivisection of the country and no responsible government can permit that.

The obduracy, criminal and inhuman acts, turning the holy place in a fortress of iniquity and butchery, and tie-up with a enemy nation forced the Bluestar Operations. It was that or destruction of country. And now there are organizations – dime-a-dozen that are trying to inflame passions for ulterior purposes by suppressing facts and playing on the emotions of the people who are not aware of the facts. And the beauty is that such people are more in foreign countries and not in India. They just want to create trouble and watch from a distance.Let this process cease.

Dr. Bikram Lamba, a political and business strategist, can be contacted at 905 848 4205. Email:torconsult@rogers.com

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